World IBD Day is marked every year on May 19. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness of inflammatory bowel diseases. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most common types of IBD. They are chronic inflammatory conditions that affect our digestive tracts. The European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA) coordinates patient organizations representing more than 50 countries. They started the day in 2010 to support the fight against inflammatory bowel diseases, raise awareness of the diseases, and promote research and studies in the field. IBD cannot be cured. With proper treatment and medication, it is possible to significantly control inflammation and increase the period of remission.
History of World IBD Day
Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD for short, is a class of diseases that affect the digestive tract. The two main types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis affects the colon or large intestine whereas Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Both conditions can manifest with inflammation and sores. Diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, fatigue, and abdominal pain are a few of the symptoms of these conditions. IBD is usually not fatal, but it can create complicated health conditions that can be dangerous and life-threatening.
The exact causes of IBD are not fully known to doctors. At first, diet and stress were thought to be the causes of the disease. But it is now proven that these can only aggravate the condition, but they are not the direct cause. An immune response or heredity may be the culprit. Research suggests that the inflammation might be due to our immune systems reacting to harmless microbes or food inside our digestive tracts. Hereditary, genetic, and environmental factors might also play a part in the cause of the disease.
Some of the risk factors include family history, race, ethnicity, and lifestyle. Most people are diagnosed with IBD before 30 years of age. However, for some people, it is only diagnosed by the time they are 50 or 60. Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can increase the risk of disease or worsen the disease in some people. Colon cancer, inflammation in joints, scarring within the bile ducts, and blood clots are a few of the risk factors of IBD.
World IBD Day timeline
Sir Samuel Wilks and Dr. Walter Moxon describe Ulcerative Colitis and differentiate it from diarrheal diseases caused by infectious agents.
Burrill Crohn, Leon Ginzberg, and Gordon D. Oppenheimer give the first description of Crohn’s disease.
The discovery of mesalamine, a long-term, efficient, and safe treatment of ulcerative colitis.
EFCCA starts World IBD Day to raise awareness about IBD.
World IBD Day FAQs
What is the main cause of IBD?
The root cause of IBD is still unknown. It is assumed that it may be a result of a defective immune system. Age, race, ethnicity, food habits, and genetics can also affect the condition.
Is IBD autoimmune?
IBD is a common term for a group of health conditions that affect the digestive tract. Research suggests that chronic inflammation is not due to the immune system attacking the body itself.
Is IBD genetic?
Research shows that between five to 20% of people with IBD have a direct relative who also has the disease.
How to Observe World IBD Day
Help those in need
There are millions of people suffering from some form of IBD. Try to create a support group for them in your locality. If there is already a group, join them and volunteer for their activities.
Use a purple ribbon to show your support and care for those living with IBD. Distribute the ribbon to your friends and family and inform them about the importance of the day and the complications of IBD.
Wear pink, blue, and yellow ribbons to create awareness. Encourage others to also do the same as you then educate them on the importance of this day.
5 Worrying Facts About IBD
IBD and the U.S.
Statistics show that there are three million Americans who suffer from some type of inflammatory bowel disease.
IBD and the world
Around seven million Americans suffer from some type of inflammatory bowel disease.
Crohn’s disease was initially called regional ileitis.
The increasing numbers
Patients diagnosed with IBD have gradually increased over the last 20 years.
Race and ethnicity
IBD is more common among white and Jewish people compared to others.
Why World IBD Day is Important
Lack of awareness can be dangerous
This day is perfect for sharing information about the condition. Information can make life easier for a few people suffering from IBD. Raising awareness can also help bring support to those suffering from it.
It can affect the quality of life
IBD can seriously affect the quality of life. People suffering from it will have to go through inflammation that occurs frequently. The day has the potential to generate significant momentum and energy for much-needed medical research in the field.
Timely diagnosis is important
Early diagnosis is the key to reducing the severity and effects of IBD. If treated in time, the condition can go into remission and be controlled.
World IBD Day dates